Ready to Run

I am a runner.  I finally feel comfortable saying it, but it has taken me a very long time.  Like about 12 years (which happened to include 1 marathon, 5 half marathons, and countless 5K’s).   Growing up I never considered myself an athlete.  I was a dancer, a cheerleader, and a gymnast but not an athlete.  Running was always a challenge for me.  In fact I remember one Spring before an ill fated stint as a softball player my Dad actually had to teach me how to run.  I think I did more of a frolic.  But when I was 26 I decided I wanted to run a Marathon so I started training.  I started with a 5K and went on from there.

In my years of running I’ve figured out a couple of things.

*Keep moving.  You won’t get better unless you put in some training time.  But you can do it.  You might be slow.  You might have to walk at first, but you can do it.

*Find a running friend.   They keep you accountable and give you some entertainment and motivation while you run.  I have had some of the best conversations of my life while running.  Nothing strengthens a friendship like miles under your feet.

*Ignore that voice in your head that tells you to stop.

*Get professionally fit for running shoes.   You can’t pick out ones that you think are cute and just go for those.  You need someone to watch you run and fit you in the right shoe.  For reals, you will save yourself so much pain and money if you go to your local running store and have them help you.

*Listen to some tunes.  It really helps keep you going when you are feeling tired.  But only wear one earbud otherwise you won’t be able to hear other runners or bikers.

*Don’t wear cotton shirts unless you want a rash.     Get yourself a cute workout top.  You can get them for as cheap as $10at Costco.  Don’t workout in old t-shirts unless you like chafing.

*Sign up for a race.  They are so much fun and give you a goal to achieve.

I’m currently getting ready to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon next week.  Over the last couple months, I have been training with two fabulous ladies, who I adore.  They’ve turned my onto some great gear and I have shared with them too.

Here are some of our favorite things:

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(Sweaty, sweaty selfie)

 

VSX Incredible Sports Bra

This bra is AMAZING!!!  It does everything you want a sports bra to do. But it also looks so good. No uniboob!   Seriously, I feel so cute in it.  Great patterns, great colors, and great cleavage.

SPI Belt

It’s not a fanny pack, it’s a SPI Belt.  I use it to stash my iPhone, ID, and cash.  It doesn’t move around.  It doesn’t dig in.  It is my most favorite bit of running gear ever.

Simple Hydration Water Bottle

I don’t always run with water.  But when I am going to be out for while or it is really hot it is essential.  I love my new water bottle.  It can go anywhere.  I often put it between my hip and  SPI Belt or in the back of my sports bra.  It is the perfect size.  Not too big or too small.

Lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II

I will wear shorts for 3-5 mile runs, but when I do anything over 5 I wear crops.  Lulu makes my favorite ones.   They are so wonderfully tight and light.  It almost feels like being naked, but better cause nothing is moving around in these babies.  I wish I could wear them all the time.

 

Get Running!!!

 

 

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What the **** is a Girl Push Up?

For most of my life I have only done girl push ups.  You know, the type you do on your knees. Through years of dance training, cheerleading and gymnastics I never ventured to try a real push up.  Growing up in P.E. I remember being told by my teacher that I didn’t need to do the boy push ups, I could just go ahead and do the girl ones.  And from then on,  I never really tried to do a traditional push up.  Sad to say, I kind of assumed that they just weren’t for me and I probably couldn’t do them.  I hate that.

Then one day it occurred to me that I found the idea of a modified push up being called a girl push up deeply offensive and stupid.  Girls are strong.   The underlying message of labeling a modified exercise for females  sends a terrible and disempowering message to half of the population.

Last  summer I decided I wanted to be able to do real push ups.  I was determined.  So last June I challenged myself to be able to do 20 pushups straight by the end of the month.  Guess what, I could totally do it.  I started with just 3 and slowly built up.  I found this great 30 Day All Body Challenge on A Champagne Dream and used it all month long. I loved it because it had more than just push ups in it.   It starts out really easy and slowly builds.  By the end of the challenge you will be doing 20 push ups, a 2 minute plank, 100 squats and 100 crunches. Most nights I got it done while I watched TV.  (Exercising while watching Real Housewives somehow reduces my guilt over watching terrible television.)

 

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It’s the start of a new month.  I’m starting the challenge today.  Anyone want to join me?

 

a champagne dream blog 30 day crunch squat push up plank body challenge

Travel Love

I love to travel. And I really love to travel with this guy.

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Some day the two of us will travel alone again. But soon we are leaving for Thailand with our two kiddos. Yeah for travel!!!! Boo to 20 hours of flying with a five year old and and 2 year old. But I won’t let 20 hours of misery stop me. I’ve got a trip to plan for and I love planning for trips. So here is what I’ve been obsessing over this week.

1. Finding the Perfect Travel Bag

I’m in my 30s and I’m a stay at home mom. On the regular, I don’t need to shlep around laptops or files, so I don’t have a backpack, attache, or messenger bag. (What I do have are some very nice purses.) But traveling with two littles means bringing lots of snacks and toys and small bottles of alcohol. So I need a travel bag.

At first I was considering a back pack. I spent hours, and I mean hours, browsing sooooo many websites. But I was underwhelmed. Nothing seemed quite right. Everything I liked required lots of unbuckling. Kind of a pain when you have an angry toddler demanding dried mango. I need zippers people. But if you don’t have an angry toddler. I think this backpack is lovely.

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Somehow I stumbled up Fjall Raven. A lovely outdoorsy company from Sweeden. And they make a tote bag that is also a backpack. And it has zippers. My mind is blown. So, I got the Totepack 1. It is perfection.

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2. Purchasing Yummy and Healthy Snacks

I know some people say that on vacation you should just eat whatever you want. Well it just so happens that I want to eat healthy food. Also if I just eat whatever, I feel so gross and have major tummy trouble. No fun. So I always bring food. Snack food is especially easy to pack. At meal times I will be eating lots of fresh Thai food. But if I need some good snacks I’ll be prepared. I’ve picked up Lara Bars, Kind Bars, Justin’s Almond Butter, Pistachios, Dried Mangos, and Dried Cranberries.

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3. Planning Some Good Workouts

Again, I actually like working out on vacation. I love running on vacation. My local green belts are beautiful but getting to run on a beach or through a new city is amazing. So I’ll be running a lot while I’m away. But I also like doing other workouts. Here are a couple good ones.

And this is my favorite do anywhere workout.

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Don’t worry, I’ve also been loading up my kindle with some good books. Mama needs some downtime.

J.R.

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LC’s Overnight Oats

Do you guys remember the Hills, or even better, Laguna Beach?  I sadly wasted a few hours of my life watching the love triangle that was Stephen, Kristin, and LC.  I personally was rooting for LC.  Any girl that also goes by her initials has my allegiance.

LC Knows Best

Well LC grew up and who would have guessed now runs her own lifestyle website.  She has surprisingly delish recipes that are clean, simple and yummy.

I just tried out her Overnight Oats.

You can follow the link above and LC tells you all you need to know.

But maybe you don’t want to do that, so I’ll put them here too.

1.  Grab a jar or container with a lid.

2.  Add 1/2 cup rolled oats

3.  Add 2/3 cup almond milk

4. Mix in 1/2 cup yogurt

5. Stir in a  pinch of cinnamon

6.  Put lid on and let chill in your fridge overnight.

7.  In the morning add some fixings like apples and honey or bananas and peanut butter or brown sugar and raisins.

 

Thanks LC!

Every Mom’s Favorite Nerd // John Green

Last week the interwebs were blazing with this vlog by John Green.

Do you know who this guy is? If you have a teenager, I bet they do.

John green is a Young Adult (YA) author and 1/2 of the vlogbrothers. Together, John and his brother Hank have created a culture for people (but mostly teens) that celebrates being awesome. And pretty much anyone can be awesome. Especially Nerds.

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John Green is a boss. End of story.

I want my kids to be John Green fans. I want them to subscribe to his channel.   John and his brother talk are smart and don’t talk down to kids.  They expect that people actually care about politics, health care, equality, and Harry Potter.  In a celebrity crazed culture. I would rather my kids follow John Green on twitter than Justin Timberlake. And I really, really, really like Justin Timberlake.

Magic in The Morning Green Smoothie

Hermione Granger and I have a lot in common.  Big hair, huge intellect, and the ability to make magic.

Her magic is of the wizarding sort.  I make smoothie magic.  My current smoothie obsession, just like Ms. Granger, packs a punch.

Take it Malfoy!

Take it Malfoy!

Ingredients

Ingredients

For 1 Serving

4 Ounces Almond Milk

1/2 Banana

1 Scoop Protein Powder ( I use Perfect Fit Protein Powder)

2 Tbs. Chia Seeds

2 Tbs. Powdered Peanut Butter

1 Shot Espresso

2 Handfuls of Spinach

Cup of Ice

Combine all ingredients and blend!

Drink the Magic!

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Currently Crushing // JR’s Swaxy September

Oh, yes.  Married women still have crushes (here are Erin’s).  They just look a little different.  Here’s whats got me smitten like a kitten, and feeling a little swaxy this September.

Ear Candy

In 11 years of marriage, Brett Dennen is the only man my husband has ever accussed me of having a crush on.  Which I don’t by the way.  Gingers aren’t my thing.  But I’ve been a fan of Brett’s (we are on a first name basis) music for awhile.  His lyrics are sooo good.  They are either super poignant and thought provoking or really fun. And I must say most of his music has a nice groove to it. Like you can get a really good hip roll or at least a hip wiggle in. Comeback Kid in particular is a great booty shaking song. He is a singer/songwriter and he writes about the best and worst parts of life.  His music reminds me of the music I grew up listening to on drives up to Bear Valley with my parents. If you fancy yourself a folk fan than give him a try.  His just released Wild Child and the album is coming out in October.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.  You’ll be running through fields skipping in no time.

And speaking of gingers and hips….

Weasley is Our King

Weasley is Our King

On the Tele

Delivering Babies by  Bike

Delivering Babies by Bike

It is no secret that I have a deep undying love for the BBC. There is nothing like a good period drama.  Call the Midwife is no exception. I’ve mentioned before that I am obsessed with this show. But i watched all the available episodes. Then Netflix made my day and added Season 2. Rejoice! Rejoice! So now you can currently watch the first two seasons on Netflix.   This show has nuns, rich Brits, poor East Enders, and so many women in labor.    (Side note- 1950’s English midwives had women push laying on their sides.  Genius. Why did this practice ever stop?)   Hmm….rereading my description and thinking that women in labor and nuns doesn’t sound like it would be very interesting.  But it seriously is so good.  I spent my kids nap time yesterday tucked away in my bedroom watching it on my Kindle Fire.  It was a great escape.  Also, systematically exposing yourself to labor decreases the likelihood of actually having to birth anything ever again.

On My Face

Nothing bland about this face wash

Nothing bland about this face wash

Ultrabland.  The lovelies at LUSH make this wonderful product.  You put it on your damp face.  Massage for a bit.  Then wipe off with a wet wash cloth. Don’t try to wash it off.  Doesn’t work.  I promise. Don’t try it.   It removes all of your make up but leaves your natural oil on your face. You don’t even have to use a moistruizer after.  It smells like roses and your face will seriously glow afterwards. I’m in my thirties and somehow this cleanser makes me feel like I am very naturally fighting the aging process. Not sure if that is true. But I believe it.

Yummy Yummy

Magic in Cookie Form

Magic in Cookie Form

I eat Paleoish. No added sugar, no grain, and just little bits of dairy. I can live with this. But I can not and will not live without chocolate chip cookies. While my family watched terrible, terrible football I whipped up these babies, the Best Ever Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Here’s a pro tip: Get your eggs to room temperature. Don’t skip this step. It’s there to help you, not hurt you. And please, please, please refigerate your batter as instructed. You can wait thirty extra minutes for your cookies.

Drinky Drinky

Go for the vanilla one, it's way better.

Go for the vanilla one, it’s way better.

Did you know that you can milk an almond?  Seriously, go to your pantry and pick up an almond.  If you look really closely, right by the pointy end, you’ll find the udder.  Cow’s milk is so overrated.  Jack Lelane once said something like…”Humans are the only animals that drink the milk of another animal”.  Actually I think he said something about suckling and teets, but regardless of the semantics Jack was on to something.  Try some almond milk .  It is delish!  I adore it in my iced Americanos.
And while you are at it, get a quick workout in with Jack.